The Carrie remake hits theaters this weekend, which means it's time for a fresh take on the telekinetic teen, almost 30 years later. The original film came out in 1976 and starred Sissy Spacek as Carrie White, while Piper Laurie played her mother, Margaret. The prom scene became one of the most memorable horror movie moments in history, and Laurie even earned an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. It's clear Chloë Moretz and Julianne Moore both had their work cut out for them as the new Carrie and Margaret, and while technological advancements have provided the opportunity to make the film more realistic and terrifying than ever, it's hard to top a renowned horror classic. So, how does the remake compare to the original? We're going over all the differences and similarities below.
Careful, there are spoilers ahead!
The Modernization of the EventsOne major difference the remake emphasizes is a more updated look at bullying. The jarring shower scene where Carrie first gets her period becomes even more chilling when her classmates make a cellphone video of Carrie and post it on YouTube. And yet, while everything else is modernized, Carrie isn't. Carrie doesn't have a cellphone or a computer, so she isn't totally susceptible to the cyber bullying. I think it's an incredibly relevant type of bullying to include in the film, but it should have been taken farther. Had we seen Carrie reacting to the video, it might have been more powerful.
The Character PortrayalsWhile Moore's performance is well-executed and Moretz is great as well, the personalities of both characters feel too exaggerated. Laurie and Moore both play Margaret as a raving religious fanatic, but for some reason it feels out of place in the present day. As for Carrie, it seems like Moretz's version enjoys the retribution on her classmates a little too much. While Spacek's interpretation of Carrie shows a terrified girl trying to protect herself, the new Carrie gives the bloody prom a sadistic twist. I mean, sure, Carrie goes into shock after the blood gets dumped in both movies, but there's a difference between a fear-based reflex and taking pleasure in vengeance.
Get the rest of the gory details after the jump!
Carrie's Upgraded Telekinetic AbilitiesWhile Carrie can do plenty more with her mind in the original film, she demonstrates greater feats of power in the remake. Spacek's Carrie pushes her mother onto a bed, while Moretz's version lifts her into the air, along with couches, tables, and other pieces of furniture. Sure, Spacek wreaks plenty of havoc while she's tearing apart the school gym, but Moretz lifts an entire car. I found myself much more intimidated by Moretz's version.
Of course, the most noticeable change Carrie's abilities in the new film comes from beefed-up special effects. The updated prom scene features the most gruesome visual effects like sweeping, violent sequences — including a particularly graphic scene where bully Chris (Portia Doubleday) flies through a windshield in slow motion — as well as more subtle details, like blood floating off Carrie's body. While most of it looks phenomenal, I was bothered by the fact that Carrie literally hovers herself out of the gym (way cheesy).
Plot DifferencesAside from the attempts to modernize the film, there are a few differences in the respective plots of each film. While the shower scene is the first in the original film, the remake opens with Margaret's bloody birth scene, where she considers killing her newborn daughter, Carrie, immediately. In the original movie, Carrie's mother stays upstairs as she leaves for prom, but in the remake, Carrie uses her mind to throw Margaret into the prayer closet. Finally, the fates of two supporting characters are changed; Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) gets pregnant and Carrie lets the gym teacher Ms. Desjardin (Judy Greer) survive. Both of these plot points come from the book by Stephen King, and not the 1976 film.
The movies have strikingly different endings. In the first film, Carrie accidentally breaks a support beam in the house, causing the entire structure to collapse on her and her mother. And let's not forget the inventive twist ending where Sue visits the ruins of the house, only to have Carrie's hand reach from the rubble to grab Sue's arm. Luckily, it's only a dream, ending the film with Sue's psychotic screams as she wakes. In the new film, Carrie's emotional trauma actually causes a mini meteor shower, and huge chunks of rock bombard the house until it's in absolute shambles. We flash forward to Sue's testimony in court, where she insists she didn't hallucinate Carrie's telekinetic destruction. She then visits Carrie's grave, where she lays down a single white rose. The gravestone is marked with graffiti reading, "Carrie White Burns in Hell."